Three Romanian journalists who had been held hostage in Iraq arrived home aboard a military plane Monday, a day after their release.
Television reporter Marie Jeanne Ion and cameraman Sorin Miscoci, both of Prima TV, and Ovidiu Ohanesian, a reporter from the daily Romania Libera, were kidnapped in Baghdad on March 28 with their guide, American-Iraqi Mohammed Monaf.
The four were freed Sunday, and were greeted Monday by Romania's President Traian Basescu and hundreds of journalists and friends.
After landing in Bucharest, the three journalists, who appeared in good health, exited the plane and hugged their families. They were then joined by Basescu and Ion, and all five raised their hands and made a victory signs with their fingers. Ion whooped with delight, while Miscoci waived a bouquet of red carnations.
One of the tires on the plane, a C-130 Hercules transport, blew out on landing, though the plane safely came to a stop and no one appeared to have been injured in the incident.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969